6 Tips for Staying Sober During a Pandemic
Right now is a very unique time for those of us who are trying to either get sober or stay sober. All of our routines and life as we know it has been brought to a halt with the recent spread of the coronavirus. Now that we are stuck indoors and have a ton of time on our hands it is important that we focus on what is important and remember why we decided to get sober in the first place. In sobriety we often talk about our "Sobriety Toolbox" and these are the moments we've been preparing for. It's time to whip out your toolbox and immerse yourself in as much self-help and sobriety work as possible. Here are 6 tips that I recommend for staying sober during a pandemic.
1. Stay connected virtually with the recovery community and your sober friends.
At this time, most in person meetings such as AA, SMART Recovery etc. are moving online. You can find a ton of online resources here:
You can also join an online community via Facebook groups. The Mindful Times community has a PRIVATE Facebook group that you can join here:
Another great sobriety group is Annie Grace's "Alcohol Experiment" Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/alcoholexperiment/
I also recommend FaceTiming or calling your trusted sober buddy or somebody within your community who will understand the struggles you are going through and be there to keep you company through these uncertain times.
2. Establish a consistent and healthy routine.
Having an established routine is so important in sobriety. It is important to keep every bit of "normalcy" even in these extremely un-normal times. Wake up, make your bed, workout, shower, have breakfast, write, read, learn something new, FaceTime with friends and family. Find the things you enjoy doing and cling to them. One of the biggest struggles people come across in sobriety is feeling bored and having FOMO. Fortunately for us, bars and events are canceled at the moment so there is one piece of temptation removed. Now we just need to find HEALTHY activities to keep the boredom from creeping in. This is a wonderful opportunity to go within and learn more about yourself and what you truly enjoy doing.
3. Move your body
Exercise is extremely important in combating anxiety and depression. Get your body moving and get the endorphins flowing. Both your body and mind will thank you later for this. While it's important to move your body, it's equally as important to listen to it. If you've been feeling overly anxious and your body is responding with fatigue - listen to it. Rest when you need to rest and push yourself when you need to push yourself. Only you will know what is right for you and your body.
Hop on YouTube and see what you can find. Here are a few recommendations:
20 Minute Home Yoga for Beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE
20 Minute Workout (No Equipment): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UItWltVZZmE
Meditation for Pandemic Anxiety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYu87TvO_aM
4. Be mindful of the media you consume
One thing that adds fuel to the anxiety fire is media in general whether that be news or social media. I am not saying to bury your head in the sand and ignore all that is going on, but instead to be mindful of how certain news affects your mind & body. A lot of people are choosing to numb out and not allow themselves to feel certain emotions right now and a huge go-to for people (as we know) is alcohol. We have to rise above this temptation and find other healthy ways to cope with the discomfort. This will allow us to take care of our own self first so that we can be there for the other people in our lives. It is so important, now more than ever, that we remain strong and sober even in the face of a pandemic.
5. Practice meditation, prayer and gratitude
One of the best ways to overcome fear is to practice gratitude. It's almost impossible to feel any negative emotions whether they be anxiety, anger, fear etc. when you are constantly thinking about the things you are grateful for. You can write, say, pray or meditate your thanks. Whatever feels most in alignment with you. Gratitude enhances serotonin and dopamine in the brain which helps regulate your stress hormones and reduces fear and anxiety. Practicing gratitude also fire and wires new neural connections in the brain. By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.
6. Educate yourself
Now is the perfect time to read all those books you've been wanting to read but maybe haven't had the time for. Books and podcast have always been the main supplies I always carry around in my "Sobriety Toolbox". My #1 recommendation to anyone who is recently sober, thinking about trying sobriety or struggling to stay sober is Annie Grace's "This Naked Mind".
I wrote an entire article and did a podcast on this specific book that you can fine here: https://www.mindfultimes.co/post/how-the-book-this-naked-mind-by-annie-grace-changed-my-life-and-helped-me-get-sober
Also check out:
Mindful Times Podcast: https://www.mindfultimes.co/podcast-1
This Naked Mind Podcast: https://thisnakedmind.com/category/podcast/page/3/
**Please share this article with anyone that may be struggling during this time. You can also hit "subscribe" at the top of this page to receive alerts on new post and Mindful Times Community updates!